The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 36

Lipmon still wept into his pillow, with his back to Mill while Mill stood over him, knife in hand. Mill had never killed a man before. He didn’t want to, but it was implicit in his orders, sent down directly from on high: to protect the security of the Omnia. No other opportunity to hide the secrets of Still Creek would ever arise again. Yet he waited for resolve that didn’t come.

What did come to him was Lipmon’s smell. There it was again, the smell of sickness. Lipmon wouldn’t survive, he told himself. He was convinced he would die of his illness. He wouldn’t have to kill Lipmon himself. That was enough for him to step out the window and resheathe his knife. Lipmon would die on his own, he told himself. There was no one who was going to be told about Still Creek. He didn’t have to perform the heinous act of killing since illness would do it for him. Everyone would understand why he did what he did.

Mill would have to report this information to Anders in Lamosa immediately. Ander’s courier, Strya, visited him every twenty days, but Strya had only just passed through two days ago. Mill would not be forgiven for waiting eighteen days for the courier. Anders needed to know now so he could respond.

Mill returned to his home and packed a very large backpack. The journey would be unpleasant and leaving his adopted home would be even more unpleasant. And there was the all too grave possibility that he might not be able to return to Orinda, since his absence might expose him.

He had to make one visit before he left, and he darted secretively between buildings until he arrived at the fence of a scrupulously attended garden attached to a modest home in the middle of the city. A short brunette, Anika, kneeled upon the ground and, using a small shovel, overturned dirt with her muscular hands and arms for planting. He made sure she was well alone before he approached.

She leapt up with glee, squealing, “Aleck!” as she saw him approach and ran into his arms, grabbing his head to kiss him. She looked old beyond her years. Her face had been weathered by the many days spent in the sun and the many nights spent worrying about the toils and struggles of all those she knew and cared for. When Mill, reluctantly, had to dampen her excitement, telling her, “I have to go away,” in his characteristically flat tone, she felt the strong pull of that

All her excitement immediately left her as she asked him, “Where? For how long?”

He hid his sadness and tears behind a veil of stiff formality when he said to her, “To Lamosa, for I don’t know how long. I don’t want to go, and I’ll certainly want to return as soon as I can, but I don’t know if I will be able to.”

“To Lamosa?” she asked perplexed

“I shouldn’t have said that to you,” Mill retracted, “Forget you heard that. Don’t tell anyone that’s where I’m going. Tell them I went to Still Creek. No, don’t tell them anything. Tell them it was a family emergency and that I departed winterward.”

“Why?” she said with frightened confusion.

“Me being able to return to be with you, depends on these people not finding out who I am,” Mill said.

“Why?” She asked, “Who are you?”

“Not now. The less you know, the better. You’re too honest,” he said, laughing nervously.

A stern look of anger rolled across her face and Mill quickly interjected, “I’ll tell you all my secrets when I return. I will. It’ll be safe then. It’ll be different. I can say no more of what I am today. For now, I simply must leave.”

“Why do you have to go?” she was now in tears as she spoke, “Why can’t you tell me?”

“Please, I only want to ask two things of you. First, please forget your questions just for now and, second, still love me when I return.” He kissed her tear-wetted cheeks and kissed her shaking lips and then walked away, holding her hand until she was out of reach.

He had to turn away and put her in the back of his mind. He grabbed his backpack from his home and set off.

The easiest way to leave the town was through the main gate since it avoided the creature who was trained not to attack passengers entering along that road during day. But Mill couldn’t leave that way since it was conspicuous and guarded and the road pointed in the opposite direction from Lamosa. It would be better if no one realized he was gone for a while, and it would take far too long to try to circle far around to avoid the Creature’s hunting ground. He had to take the back entrance, directly through the Creature’s hunting ground.

<-- Go to Part 35         Go to Part 37 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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